cousins, bathtubs, mobile saunas, and chickens | seattle tacoma documentary family photography

It's been far too long since I've blogged, but spring has arrived and I've been shooting a lot lately. I'm also *very close* to fully recovered from major knee surgery last year (more on that coming in another blog post) so I'm ready to start photographing families again! While Viggo competed in his very first chess tournament last weekend (you can see my Instagram post here), Leo got some quality time with his cousins. Documenting the day with his cousins was a great reminder that we can include extended family and cousins in your photo shoot. I would love to spend a morning or day in the life with your family, your littles, and their cousins. The cousin relationship is pretty special, whether they are all close in age, or years apart, it's such a fun, unique dynamic. I'm not sure which was more fun - 3 cousins in a bathtub or 3 cousins in a hammock. We have a bathtub (but the light isn't nearly as pretty) but I'm convinced that we definitely need a hammock.  Back at the house after a long day of chess, Viggo sat proudly for a photo with his trophy before we all jumped into the converted horse trailer that is now a mobile sauna. We warmed up in the sauna listening to the pouring rain on the metal roof of the trailer, snacking on bowls of goldfish, when Leo shouted "chicken bawk bawk!" and sure enough we looked out the little windows to see one of chickens running down the alley. The kids all jumped out to chase the chicken but he was long gone, leaving four sopping wet cousins scrambling to get inside and warm up in front of the fire. It was everything that a day with cousins should be.

from london to seattle with love | seattle documentary family photography

You know it's going to be a good session when you wake up to dark Seattle skies and a slow drizzle but instead of canceling, your client embraces it and wants to document life in their new city, rain and all. And even better is when you're greeted by smiling, giggling girls who can't wait to show you their baby sister.  This beautiful international family recently moved from London to Seattle and the girls still have an accent that will melt your heart.  The laugher that fills every room of their house is infectious, and families that embrace the silly will always have my heart. As a mother of boys, I love documenting life with girls and I'm always curious about the differences and similarities and make no mistake, these girls could give my boys a run for their money. They jumped, wrestled, danced, and scaled rock walls in the mud and rain. It was my kind of morning. 

at home with baby E | seattle, wa

I've known David and Alana for several years and I've even been on some pretty grueling bike rides with David. I was beyond excited to finally meet sweet baby E and see how well they've all settled into their new house as a family of three. They made it look effortless! Seriously though, they were such naturals at this new parenting thing and they had the calm demeanor of seasoned parents. I loved seeing David in his new role as dad and how E has already captured his heart. E is such a sweet baby and is already a great sleeper - no wonder Alana looked so gorgeous and refreshed. Of course no family session would be complete without a guest starring role from the family pets, in this case their hilarious cats "Chicken" and Max.

another summer, another doe bay fest | orcas island, wa

If you've talked to me anytime in the last six months, chances are I've mentioned Doe Bay. We make the trek up to Orcas Island every winter and then wait patiently to return in August for the Doe Bay Music Festival. We take the foot ferry and camp with several families and our gaggle of kids, and have even met some pretty amazing new friends along the way. And that's the thing about Doe Bay - by the end of the long weekend strangers aren't really strangers anymore. Faces become more familiar and all those strangers become your extended Doe Bay family. The music is always great, that's a given, but it's a lot more than just the music. When you create a community of creative people in one of the most beautiful places in the world, magic happens. It's the side conversations while looking for crabs on the beach, morning swims in the Puget Sound and soaks in the tubs, secret shows in the woods at midnight, lazy afternoons sipping margaritas on the beach while watching your favorite musicians play what seems like a private show just for you, the smell of salt water and popcorn as the sun sets, a glimpse of a family of deers walking past your tent, seeing Joe waiting on the beach to greet your water taxi as it comes ashore, sweaty nights rocking out in yoga studio feeling the floor vibrate beneath your feet, kids running around yelling and laughing and waving their glow sticks while bands play the main stage, raw oysters and hula hoops, dancing at twilight, meals of mouth watering food from the cafe with friends, moms wearing their babies and bigger kids wearing headphones sitting on their parents shoulders while they bob their heads to the beat and wave their hands in the air, afternoon naps on the beach, the daily morning brass band processional through camp while you sip your coffee, and so much more. 

And for me, the best part is how inclusive the festival is of all of the kids. Like Joe says, "Doe Bay Fest is a music festival primarily for kids. Adults are allowed too, especially when accompanied by kids". We are fortunate to be able to participate in this community of magic makers that come together every summer and that our friends and family get to be a part of it. I'm already looking forward to next summer where we get to do it all over again.